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107

The King Loves: Episodes 21-22

After the high intensity of last week, the pace today is a bit slower even though the stakes remain high, and there are still many problems to solve. At long last, after begging Rin and San to trust him with their troubles, Won’s ability to save those he cares for is finally put to the test. With the backing of his powerful and shrewd mother, Won may get a taste of what true power feels like, but hopefully he doesn’t forget the reasons he scorned it in the first place.

 
EPISODE 21 RECAP

Following his explosive showdown with his father, Won visits San at the investigation bureau. She stands to greet him, formally calling him “Crown Prince.” The title unnerves Won, but perhaps not more than the fact that San is wearing Rin’s clothing. Won states that Rin knew about San’s real identity long ago, which San confirms.

He asks when she found out that he was the crown prince, and she tells him that it was day he stopped her engagement to Jeon, which was the first day she saw him in his royal garments.

Won strings together all the events and realizes that San was there that day behind the veil, and also the night his father poured liquor over his head. He asks if he seemed pathetic to her, and if that’s why she gave him the ring and iced his lip. He mentions her deceptive request for him not to make her his wife accusingly, with a hurt look in his eyes.

She apologizes super formally, and he smiles wretchedly, then comments again on how strange it is to hear her speak to him with such deference.

He sits on the ground and tells her to join him, remarking how he had been in this same cell with Rin before to talk about her. She hesitates then refuses, which leads him to guess that either she’s uncomfortable because he’s the crown prince, or because he’s now engaged to Dan.

He asks why she didn’t want him to choose her, then repeats the reason she gave to him before (on behalf of her “mistress”) about having someone else in her heart. She confesses that she learned that should Dan get married, Rin would be allowed to stay to celebrate the wedding and not have to leave for Yuan.

Won realizes that San intended to sacrifice herself and go as a tribute all along, he then paints her a grim picture of what her life would be like as a Yuan concubine. He tells her that he cannot allow that fate to befall her.

She changes the topic and asks Won to take care of her father, then mentions Rin’s treasonous actions of fighting against the royal guard to help her escape. Won firmly insists that he’ll take care of everything, then demands to know if she has anything to say to “Han-chun.”

Her eyes water and she asks Won to tell Han-chun that So-hwa is very grateful toward him, because unbeknownst to her, he was always thinking of her, and trying to protect her.

She hopes that he can live happily with his parents, but he angrily replies that he cannot relay her message. He orders her to focus on becoming So-hwa again so that she may say those words directly to Han-chun, and then he’ll handle the rest from there.

Won leaves her and sneaks through the palace grounds, dodging guards hot on his trail. Just then, Jang Eui springs from the shadows and informs Won of Minister Eun’s location.

He finds it curious that Minister Eun was not apprehended by royal guards and was instead taken to a private mansion, which is not-so-curiously located behind (and connected to) Song In’s teahouse. Won guesses that Song In is behind everything, but dispatches Jang Eui to confirm.

Eunuch Kim hurries to report Princess Wonsung’s trip to the king’s chambers to Won, and we cut to the dysfunctional couple as Princess Wonsung resolutely enters in time to see Boo-yong retreat behind a curtain.

She snaps at Boo-yong for not greeting her properly, leading the healer to hurry out and kneel before her.

With her dominance asserted, Princess Wonsung informs the king of a banquet she is hosting for the returning Yuan envoys, announcing that she will require a few helping hands for the preparations. The king irritably shouts at her to do as she pleases, as she always has.

She turns to leave, and Boo-yong suddenly says that the king worries over Princess Wonsung’s health, then offers her to give her an examination.

Looks like Boo-yong isn’t as sly as she think she is (but honestly, did she really think that would work?), and Princess Wonsung calls Boo-yong out for hoping to poison her instead. She suggests that Boo-yong aim to become a royal concubine first to even be at a level to address her. Burn.

As Princess Wonsung leaves, Boo-yong returns to the king’s bed where he pats her affectionately. Princess Wonsung stops before exiting, turns toward the pair, then walks off.

Outside his residence, Won thinks of his mother and muses to himself, “I know how that feels — having feelings for someone who will not reciprocate them. Each day your heart shrivels. I saw it all the time.” He looks at San’s ring around his neck and wonders, “Which one is harder? To keep her close and let my heart shrivel a little each day, or to not see her at all, hoping to forget? Just hoping.”

Won gathers himself then asks Jang Eui if San’s name is on the list of tributes. It is, and what’s worse is that the list was already sent to the returning envoys, which means they’ll only have thirty-six hours until they leave Goryeo to figure out a plan.

Won decides he needs Teacher Lee’s help, but unfortunately, he is still missing.

Naturally, he is getting a drink at a local tavern, but when Furatai shows up, Teacher Lee has already vanished. He chases him to Song In’s teahouse and finally catches Teacher Lee sampling fancy wines.

Outside, Song In seethes to Moo-suk about Minister Eun’s missing financial documents, and knows he needs to transfer the wealth before San leaves. He encounters Furatai as he leads Teacher Lee away, but not before the teacher casts Song In a mischievous grin.

At Rin’s, Jeon berates his little brother for going against the king, and urges his father to send Rin as a hostage before he brings more shame to their family. Wang Young chastises Jeon, then turns to Eunuch Choi to confirm that Rin was escorting San on Princess Wonsung’s orders.

The eunuch verifies that Rin need not worry about retribution, and Wang Young expresses his gratitude, then directs Rin to “thank” Eunuch Choi for his troubles.

Rin starts to leave, but can’t bear to when Jeon starts whining about San being his fiancée and intending to ask the king to pardon San and grant their marriage. Jeon insists that the king adores him and will approve the union, begging his father to give his consent as well.

Rin leaves, unable to hear anymore, and finds Eunuch Choi waiting for his prize outside while rubbing his greedy hands together. Rin grabs Eunuch Choi by the collar and slams him against the wall, demanding to know where the eunuch’s allegiances really lie.

He knows the eunuch led both he and San straight to the king for capture, but Eunuch Choi swears he was in an impossible situation, since, if he had helped Rin and San escape and someone saw him, then Princess Wonsung would be blamed.

Dan interrupts them before Rin can continue his questioning, and so Rin leaves the man trembling.

Outside the estate, Eunuch Choi finds the cart pullers looking for Rin. He follows them and overhears them discuss a bunch of papers in the pack Goo-hyung was carrying, which the servant called more important than his life.

In her room, Dan apologizes for eavesdropping on Rin’s conversation before telling him everything she knows about San’s situation (which is everything). She fears that San is being sent in her place, but Rin dissuades her from the thought, promising that Won will handle the matter.

Dan says that Rin is in love with San, and can tell just by looking at him. Suddenly, it occurs to Dan that Won is also in love with San. She explains to her brother that she knew all along, but told herself it was fine because San was supposedly of lowly birth.

Dan confesses, full of shame and with tears streaking down her face, that she was going to ask Rin to seduce San away from Won, or she’d drive San away somehow. Then, between sobs, she tells Rin that this is the kind of person she is.

Rin says soothingly that ever since Dan was young she’d start talking, then cry without stopping. He wipes the tears from her face, regarding her tenderly.

Dan asks Rin if San is the number one person in Won’s heart, but he answers vaguely that he doesn’t know, which leads her to add that she always thought Rin was number one. Aww, I love this idea, because it’s probably true, right? Right!?

Rin laughs at the idea, but stifles it and tells Dan seriously that soon she’ll be the crown princess — and if she continues to be a crybaby, then it’ll embarrass Won. The thought gets through to her, and she puts on a brave face, which makes Rin smile. (These two must be protected at all costs.)

The next morning, Jin Gwan arrives with a royal order from Princess Wonsung, which Rin accepts. Meanwhile, Won receives a similar order, asking to help his mother prepare for the returning envoys.

The besties head over to Princess Wonsung’s together, where Won reports his visit to San to a worried Rin. Rin asks if she looked well, and all Won can say is that San wasn’t crying, but then adds that San probably wouldn’t cry in front of him anyway.

Rin looks down thoughtfully, which leads Won to tell him of the favor he had asked of his mother. Namely, his favor will involve the help of three people, including Rin. The second person greets the boys and Princess Wonsung in her chambers: Teacher Lee.

Rin notices Eunuch Choi’s shifty-eyes, and so he requests the man be excused from the room. Princess Wonsung obliges, clearing the room of even her other most trusted servants.

Once the extra ears are gone, Teacher Lee asks if Won wants to gather power to save San, or start a rebellion.

Won is confused, so we flash back to Teacher Lee drinking at the local tavern, and see the he was actually gathering intel from his students sitting nearby, who told him of all the recent events, including the incident where the king punched Won.

Won explains to Rin that he was trying to distract the king while Rin and San made their getaway, but it didn’t go exactly as planned.

We go back to the last scene of the previous episode, right as Won threatened to kill the guards for taking San away. We also see Eunuch Kim curiously leading in a Yuan envoy into the courtyard to witness the scene of the king hitting Won.

Rin guesses disbelievingly that Won intentionally got himself hit so that the envoy would see, and Won explains that time was of the essence, so he needed to act quickly.

Won then asks for Teacher Lee’s help in executing the next part of his plan, but Teacher Lee refuses since he hasn’t determined if Won is morally better than the king, and therefore he’s unsure whether he should side with Won or not.

Won wants to find a way to minimize the amount of people that could be endangered if he challenges the king again, and so Teacher Lee casually recommends that Won do nothing, which would mean zero casualties.

Teacher Lee instead offers the services of his student, since he is indebted to Minister Eun for his financial backing all these years.

Rin opens the door and in the doorway appears San, dressed like the highborn lady she is.

 
EPISODE 22 RECAP

San enters and bows before the royals, then tells Won that she’s been ordered to help with preparations for the envoys. She smiles at Princess Wonsung, who smiles back knowingly.

Princess Wonsung inquires about San’s “unique talent,” but San tries to deny it, and so Teacher Lee says he told Princess Wonsung about it.

Won looks between San and Rin (and Rin looking at San), and gets this mixed look on his face as if he’s happy, but also hurting.

The main trio leaves to prepare for the next phase of Won’s plan, but as they do, San trips on some stairs and the boys scramble to catch her by both arms. They regain their composure before Won informs them that he doesn’t have a real plan, because he was sort of pinning all his hopes on Teacher Lee thinking of something.

San calls him out on his half-baked conspiracy, and so they bicker back and forth until Rin has to physically get between them and suggest that they try to free Minister Eun first.

From her window, Princess Wonsung observes the three as Minister Eun asks why she doesn’t just remove San’s name from the tribute list with one wave of her influential hand, instead of making the kids jump through all these hoops.

She explains that she has always told Won that he must become the king as quickly as possible, and if he should hesitate, then he may be trampled on by those who covet what is his.

Teacher Lee points out that Won isn’t the type to listen, and she acknowledges that, but says that for the first time Won came to her first and asked for power, all so that he could help San.

Teacher Lee calls Won’s female-oriented motives fragile and dangerous, which Princess Wonsung agrees with even as she adds, “If a man can’t even cherish one woman and is given a country, how can he properly cherish that country?”

Won sends Rin to rescue Minister Eun, and once he’s alone with San, he tells her that he feels like he’s with the old So-hwa again. He asks if she’ll be fine handling her mission alone, since he won’t be able to go with her due to his confinement.

She suddenly remembers something and runs after Rin, but trips on her skirt on her way to him and falls into his arms. They awkwardly recover from the close proximity, and San eventually tells Rin about her father’s heart illness, which can worsen under stress.

There’s a pill her father needs to take, and so Rin promises to retrieve it from their family physician. They share a meaningful beat, as if forgetting how to act naturally. Won watches them intently, then turns his gaze away, conflicted.

One of the cart pullers, GAE-WON, loiters outside of Wang Young’s residence again in search of Rin. He’s turned away, and as he leaves, we see some men following after him.

Jin Gwan observes from Rin’s house, and notes how the men took the “bait.” Gae-won nervously leads the men through the marketplace to a house full of the Geumgajeong shadow guards and a fearful Goo-hyung, who clutches his precious pack in his arms.

Jin Gwan watches from the roof as one of the men following Gae-won spies into the compound from over the back wall, then retreats. Jin Gwan then whistles, which mobilizes his buddies on the ground.

Song In visits Minister Eun in his confinement before telling the minister that Won had called Teacher Lee back to the capital, which would mean treason (or could be easily manipulated to mean treason), since he was sent into exile for criticizing the king.

Song In suggests Minister Eun hand over his riches and leave, unless he wants to get entangled in the political war brewing on the horizon. Otherwise, it may result in his wealth being confiscated and the death/enslavement of his household.

Minister Eun is intrigued by the confiscation of his wealth part, because it would mean Song In could never get his hands on it.

Moo-suk enters to inform his boss about the house where Goo-hyung is hiding. They know the men there are Won’s men, and so they assemble all their fighters to go to battle.

As the men leave the teahouse, Rin and the Geumgajeong guards infiltrate the teahouse and find Minister Eun in a hidden room. He’s barely hanging on (having had on his poker face in front of Song In, but once he was gone the stress of the situation attacked his heart), and so Rin hurries to administer his pill.

Minister Eun takes the medicine and it calms him down, and Rin carries him on his back to make their escape.

Speaking of San, she and Furatai arrive at the Yuan envoy’s offices, where all the tribute items (and the list) are being held. Furatai introduces San to the envoy as Princess Wonsung’s assistant and confidant. (Okay, Princess Wonsung is awesome. Team Mom all the way).

The envoy recognizes San from the brouhaha with the king the night before, and lets her give him a tour of the gifts (like the super special ginseng). She distracts him long enough to steal the key kept on his waistband, then secretly tosses it to Furatai, who searches for the list.

San begins crying to keep the envoy’s attention, telling him of how lonely Princess Wonsung is in a foreign country, and now the princess must even lose her trusted assistant (San) as a tribute. Furatai finds the list and tosses the key back to San, who easily put the key back where it belongs before promptly leaving, confusing the bewildered envoy.

Song In and his men arrive at the house only to find it empty, and he realizes he’s been had. They rush back to the teahouse, and Song In rages to find Minister Eun missing. He tells Moo-suk furiously, “Such are humans. Treat them politely and they scorn you. Follow the law and the unlawful wish to trample on you. Such are humans. So my politeness and lawfulness ends here.”

The Yuan envoys go to the palace and grow excited to see a decorated horse carriage full of flowers, thinking it must be for their welcome banquet. Rin meets them at the entrance and wordlessly leads them to Won, who feigns illness/depression in his quarters.

Won apologizes to the envoy for his appearance, then asks for a favor. The envoy jumps up immediately at the prospect of a request, and promises to do everything he can to help.

However, when Won asks for the tribute list to be destroyed, the envoy grows unsure. He figures out that it must be because of San, but doing so would mean defying the emperor.

Won describes San as Princess Wonsung’s only friend, and as the queen’s no-good son, he only hopes to help his mother in this small way.

The envoy argues that the list is already locked up, so Rin brings out the scroll, and Won encourages the man to burn it. In exchange, they’ve prepared a deed to some land where he can harvest ginseng. The envoy hesitates, but eventually bends, and promises to tell the king that he intends to take no tribute girls this year.

With the matter resolved, Won sends San back to her cell, where she will be released soon. He gives her one of his robes to wear in the chilly cell (and as a warning for the guards to treat her well), and she thanks him again for his help.

Rin begins after her, but Won calls him back and sends Eunuch Kim instead, since he needs to have a word with Rin.

San and Eunuch Kim leave, but they don’t make it far before they encounter that strangely decorated carriage along with a team of fighters. San notices Moo-suk amongst them, and she sends Eunuch Kim back to get help.

Drawing her two daggers, San does her best to fend them off, but she’s no match for their numbers. The fight is decided when Song In knocks her unconscious with a hard blow to the head.

Back with the boys: Won tells Rin that he had considered sending San away and ending his first love along with her. He uses a flower analogy about flowers being the most beautiful at their peak, and once they begin rotting, it could tarnish the memory of its beauty in full bloom.

However, he tried to convince himself to follow that way of thinking, but realized that he cannot be without San after all. Rin asks if Won has told San to be with him, and what he would do if she declines.

Won argues that he cannot go on without San, and will keep her even if it means keeping her in a cage beside him.

Rin asks what will happen if she’s unhappy, and Won asks defensively how Rin can be so certain that San will be unhappy with him. Oh no, Won. Don’t be like this.

Their conversation is cut short by Eunuch Kim, who has returned to report San’s kidnapping. Won orders all gates closed, and they hurry out to find San. They see Won’s robe left on the ground where she was taken, and look around in time to see the carriage approach.

Inside, Song In hides with San, but before Won approaches it, Moo-suk appears around the corner as a diversion and leads them away from the carriage so that it can make its getaway.

 
COMMENTS

This show is not exactly going in the direction I thought it would, or maybe these two episodes were the calm before the storm? I really thought the king and Won would clash in an all-out war over their confrontation in the last episode, but I suppose it’s important to resolve all this tribute business first so that we can finally move on. Don’t get me wrong, I think this conflict is really interesting, especially because we are weirdly rooting for the people that are perpetuating this horrific practice (Won and Princess Wonsung) and wishing a black hellfire death onto those fighting against it (Song In).

Realistically, Song In probably doesn’t really care about anything except enriching himself, but if that’s the case, then it’s really sad that no important player is genuinely trying to dismantle the practice. I guess it would go against the realities of history and the time period we are in, but I’m hoping to get a more nuanced view from another (morally upright) character, because there’s so much to be said about this issue. And I hope it isn’t only being used as a vehicle to complicate our main love triangle, without any commentary on its traumatic and long-term effects on history.

To be honest, I am totally surprised by how much I’m loooooving Princess Wonsung and her evolving role in this story. I got chills in the last episode when she called in Rin to escort San out. It’s speaks volumes about her ability to assess a situation and do the right thing even if she essentially represents this brutal institution. I don’t actually know how to fully reconcile this Princess Wonsung, with the evil, cackling one we saw watching the woman and her father get tortured, but her actions lately really drive home the clarity of her singular desire to help Won become king, and it’s enough to make you wonder what she wouldn’t do for him. And for me, that’s terrifying in the best way.

She continues to surprise me, but I can’t help mourning the lack of character depth from her husband. I keep wishing we’ll get something more from him one day, but with each episode, my hopes are dashed. The power knot he’s trapped in is so compelling, and his reasons for resenting Princess Wonsung are valid along with his elusive fear of Won, so I wish his angle of the story was rooted in something deeper than this childish nonsense we keep getting. Get out of your pajamas, sir, and get some work done please. I’ll never feel anything for Boo-yong, so let’s not spend so much screen time on her, because it’s a wasted opportunity to not to make the king more sympathetic.

Moving on, the plot points in this episode were needlessly obscured, but since it sorted itself out by the end, I’m generally fine with it. It did feel like we were shifting into the next stage of our story, and I’m definitely ready for that. It killed me to see Won be so obstinate about keeping San, though. His unyielding nature is built into the love story, but I sort of wish I felt more strongly for the pairing of San and Won, because then I would feel so much more conflicted now. I want to believe that he’s fighting for love instead of obstructing it. But I got my Rin T-shirt on, so I’m in this for the long haul.

Won makes me sad, because based on his facial expressions when watching Rin and San, he totally knows the one truth he doesn’t want to accept. The question is how far his denial will take him, so I’m hoping that his motives aren’t only San-driven (as Teacher Lee and Princess Wonsung believe), because based on what he know about Won, he is able to step outside of himself and sacrifice himself for the people he cares about. Which makes me believe that there is something more behind his insistence on having San, and I really hope that reason is Rin. Sisters are always right.

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I'm supposed to working so this first one is quick: I've become too obsessed with this drama, more obsessed than Won is with San. And with the rest of the episodes probably being totally angsty for Rin, I don't know how I'm going to survive it. After all, I'm only in it for Hong Jong hyun and his character Rin. (After work I'll have time to read and comment). Thanks so much.

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To your last sentence: You hope the reason is Rin, and sisters are always right. Can you explain this a bit more, I don't quite get it, and I don't remember what his sister said so that you're saying sisters are right. Thanks.

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Dan said Won's first love and #1 priority is actually Rin. If Dan is right than Won will not interfere with Rin and San becoming a couple.

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Me too!! I don't want to watch this drama at first, because the casts are not that interesting to me. I never watch ISH's dramas, I Have neutral feeling to Yoona and I kinda dislike HJH in Scarlet Heart. But, after I watch 1 ep of TKL, I have to admit I become obsessed with it. I even have a ship wars in youtube and IG, LOL!!!!! Something I never did before... I hope the story ends well, although I am growing worry with Rin. Hope he finds his happiness...

Anw.... I interpret Dan-Rin's conversation differently. I thought Dan said, she thinks Rin is San's first love. Hmmm... I have tp rewatch that scene again..

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I found I have to watch both Viki and and (unnamed) site because the subtitles are so different. But I'm pretty sure Dan said she thought Rin was Won's first, that's why Rin smiled (thank goodness we finally got Rin to smile!).

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I feel you. Only in this for the long haul because of Hong Jong Hyun, despite the apparent upcoming angst and despair.

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I hate Won's continuous analogy of keeping San caged up like a bird -.-Please stop

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I think it might only get worse.

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It's pretty horrifying when you realize that he's still thinking of her in that way even after all these episodes. It's not love, it's obsession. Am I the only one who feels creeped out?

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Oh, no, I'm totally creeped out too, and what's going to happen to Rin when Won's jealousy and possessiveness take over completely?

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I agree it is horrifying that after all they've been through he still thinks of San as an object he can possess.

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Like you, I was a bit disappointed with ep 21 when everything seems cooled down instead of Won's confrontation to the King, but it's still good though the twist. I kinda accept Won's desire to strategize things rather than go bluntly against the King without proper plan. But still, I do find these episodes are a bit messy especially when San is in and out of prison.

My heart, my heart keeps on fluttering whenever Rin and San had their moments. I always love the quiet, intense and romantic moments of them together. I was screaming when San tripped and accidentally "hugged" Rin. ❤️

I seem to dislike what Won said to Rin about keeping San by his side. Hmm, maybe I seem to forget about Won's possessive nature in the earlier episodes when he's been so different for the past few episodes protecting the one he loves. How can Rin be so sure that San will be unhappy? Well, if Won really loves San like he claims to be, he should know how San is, how she likes to live freely on her own way. She'll never be free in that toxic palace.

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Rin's smile when he talked to his sister is just too precious!! I never knew that HJH can smile prettily like that.
Tbh, I am a bit worry with the progress of the story... Dan seems to be on the edge to do something because of her jealousy (please, don't!).. Rin seems to barely hold to contain his feeling but obviously he failed.. Won obviously realised that his bestfriend also has fallen in love with the girl he likes. This can not be good... Jealousy can drive people to do something nasty. I can only hope the three will have their happy ending.

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Not only that, but Won clearly sees how both of them look at each other.

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I am trying to be realistic coz K-drama troupes ALWAYS have the male lead to be with female lead. So, I guess so far the drama hasn't show clearly San's feeling. The obvious thing is Won saw Rin's expression.. So he confirm that Rin loves San too. But San is still ambiguous, imo...

I am Rin-shipper, I don't want to get my hopes until San confirm her feelings...

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I'm trying to be cautious like you! But then the show keeps doing the romantic slow-motion and music when Rin-San are together. With Won and San, she seems happy to see him (like a friend) but always closes off when he tries to cross the friendship line. So to me there's hope for Rin/San :)

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Yeah... those swoony scenes, esp in next episode.. >.<
I guess I cross with so many Wonsan shippers in social medias as they argues that Rin actually love San but hesitate because she don't want to hurt Rin and Dan. They also said in the teaser there are kiss scenes between Won and San.
If it is true, my heart could not take it... I just hope Rin will be happy (even if he is not with San).. T_T

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San told they Queen she only wants to be Won's friend.

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As long as we're talking about the kiss scene, the teaser doesn't go that far. It fades out before it shows him actually kissing her. So we don't know if actually does, or if she pulls back or if she reciprocates.

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I also hope the reason is Rin, and not only San. However I trust Won, And I think ultimately he will let San go , since he knows where her heart lies.
But have to say, I find Dan's obsession with the prince a bit frustrating. Though she had no choice herself, since she was almost being taken away as the tribute woman, but whenever she sees San with Won, she's conflicted. Which doesn't suit her tbh. You can't force a person to completely change track and love you back, since you love him. Pretense relationship is the worse, and I wonder what she's going to get out of it. :/

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I kind of shocked but totally understand Dan progression.
She is been so accepting that she almost unreal until she said that.
She acknowledge that she can't share the CP, that San real identity concern her, how she doesn't think Won can love San that much and let just hope she didn't act on that.

If Dan do something, I think that would be the tragedy of Rin, I don't think he'll go easy on her but it will take quite a long time to executed that.

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When Won asked Dan to be Crown Princess but not his Number One she accepted it and it was okay with her. But when reality hit, and she saw how Won was pursuing San, she realized she wasn't as gracious a person as she thought. What must she think when she knows how much Rin loves San but the Crown Prince has the power and Rin waited too long and was too compliant to Won's wishes, not realizing how San felt about him (Rin). Aah, the angst!

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Yeah I'm afraid of what Rin will have to go through if Dan lets her (rightful & human) jealousy/insecurity get the better of her.

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Won's obsession with San is much worse, if you ask me. I honestly don't understand what Dan sees in him, because he's been forcing himself onto San pretty early on, practically begging her to love him, with the bird cage talk and the backhug and the other 'lovey dovey stuff' except its very one-sided, and the lengths he's willing to go to keep her by his side, even WITHOUT HER CONSENT is gross and obsessive. If anything, I find Dan having an enormous well of patience, ESPECIALLY because she's betrothed to him. It was a necessary union, but it is a union nonetheless, and I don't blame her for expecting a bit more out of it. It's almost like an arranged marriage which probably happened very commonly at the time, so she's not wrong for hoping that some love may come somewhere along the way.

Besides, her breakdown in this episode was only between her and Rin. It was well-deserved, because like I said she's been exhibiting an extraordinary amount of patience, and she deserved to vent a bit. I'm sure she wouldn't be the only one to think such things too; they're very human thoughts about wanting the other person to love them back, which is naturally what happens when you like the person. You don't love someone with just the expectation of them never loving you back. You always hope, no matter how impossible, that they will return your feelings, even if your hope is very small and short-lived. See: almost all second leads since forever. Rin and Won were joking from the first time we met her that she would be obsessed with him, but so far I haven't seen anything beyond a girl with a crush who has never acted beyond her boundaries. There's no indication that this will change, even into marriage. If it does, I hope it will be her coming to the realisation that Won doesn't deserve her, and trying to find love of her own.

Show's been doing superb so far; I hope, even despite everything, San and Dan will find a way to be friends. What I hate most about love triangles is it destroys the potential friendships (especially between the girls) that could've arisen otherwise. Guys always get to be friends after; for girls, the one who didn't get the guy always becomes the bitch. Sorry for the long rant, I love Dan a lot and I hope more people will come to understand and love her as I do. #Dan&RinProtectionSquadFTW!

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I hate to say this, but in those days female consent was not really required; nor did San give him any indication that she was truly adverse to his touch; other than hitting or shoving him. In all honesty, she's quite fond of him, grateful to him, and pitied him. She cherishes him as a friend. She's just not in love with him.

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I'm not completely convinced she does not love him yet. I feel like all the times she had to make a direct choice for Won she had other people to think about, so she did not choose Won. Like when she asked him to choose Dan, it's clearly because that was the only way to ensure Dan and Rin's safety. I just think that we have not seen San's true feelings for Won because her choice is never simply to choose him, there's always something in the way that makes her rejecting him make the most sense in her head.

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Me too, there is no clear sign that San doesnt love Won, except that she said she needs to keep a distance because Won has chosen a wife. There is also no clear sign that San loves Rin.

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I think her true feelings are pretty obvious. There are so many times she pushes Won away and even told the Queen she just wanted to stay friends. The looks she gives Rin are telling. But she knows she's ruining their friendship over her so she's holding back right now. I could say more but need to wait til after the next episode and previews.

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I think San feels comfortable around Rin and thus is more open to him about what she's going through. She does seem to like Rin and is glad everytime he comes in to save her when she needs help. You can also feel the disappointment when she hears Rin "lie" to her that he is doing these under the guise of the Crown Prince's order.

As for Won, I think San treats him as a good friend at the moment and is both flattered and burdened by the attention and care that he showers her with, especially now that Won is defying his father, the King, just to save her. This could still lead to love.

I hope the story would be more about sacrifice and selflessness, regardless of who San ends up with. I can always bring Rin home if San and Won are the end game. ;)

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Except it's ok for san and dan to be with won at the same time because kings can have multiple wives. The queen even told won he can have them both.no need for san to tiptoe around dan at all if she really like won back.

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I think hitting or shoving him whenever he tried to get romantic with her were clear indications that she didn't want him to touch her like that.

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I also love Dan and think the actress is doing an amazing job. Her expressions while talking to Rin about Won/San were so good.

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I think this show totally aimed for the soft love than the aggressive one cause as much as blank Rin face can be, the nuance made up for that.
The way the director shot San face after Rin just walk away show that she wants something.
The way Rin and San becomes reluctant and awkward to say goodbye seems to mean something.
The drama show us a lot of that but still didn't say it on the dialogue, instead, we got teacher lee and princess wonsung conversation for that.

That litte moments is what makes me love this drama. Something before the confessions that looked common but feel out of place (in a good way).
It feels like friendships but with sprinkle on top , like seeing a flower that blossom each day, it's quiet, small but we know we are going to see some beauty.

Maybe this is just the drama for me and if they reveal the OTP later, I hope it give us the right progression and flashback on the moment it all happen.

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Won's conversation to Rin at the end is very telling. He wants pretty flowers in full bloom, not withered. He likes pretty things. But I think his jealousy of Rin/San has made him want San regardless, just because he can.

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Besides, Rin has always let Won win. Rin will have to fight for her.

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I actually quite weirded out when Won only wants soo hwa and not San agasshi.
San is both and sometimes it makes me feel like Won the carefree side of San, that is soo hwa and don't want the other.
I know people say it's not good to change yourself for love but I think some kind of chance is needed. You can't be the same person forever and San, one day, need to show herself as both Soo hwa and the lady.
I also don't think San is changing, she just following the proper attitudes and change when Won asked her not to.
Maybe I ask too much but I am disappointed when Won asked her to changes cause he didn't like her polite manner.
He can say " it's okay to act like soo hwa to me, drop the formality" but he say something along the line of “He orders her to focus on becoming So-hwa again so that she may say those words directly to Han-chun”.

I understand his means but it feels like won still didn't accept that he can be both hanchun and crown prince like San is both san and soo hwa.

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Well isn't it because Han Chun and Soo Hwa are able to have a much closer and simpler relationship than Wang Won and Eun San could ever hope to have? Being commoners would mean that they have much less burdens to bear and can do much more what their hearts desire, but the crown prince and the only daughter of the richest man in the country have many problems that come with their status, even talking to each other in Banmal and bickering and joking together is unheard of. When San was in her half dazed concussioned state she also thought that she dreamed of Han Chun, because HE is her friend, and the crown prince is a person who is far away....

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The way the portray the relationship makes me hold back on an OTP for exactly the reason you said. They just have certain looks, never any solid dialogue. From Won and Rin we know, but they seem to want to keep us guessing about San.

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Won argues that he cannot go on without San, and will keep her even if it means keeping her in a cage beside him.

>:(

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I so wanted king and CP to have it all out. Oh so hoping the writer knows where she/he is going with the plot.
At this point in dramas, i usually drop them due to unnecessary angst, lack of character development, or just lack of plot progression etc. Please please stay good.

Again... Dan and Rin. So so sweet. Yes, i want a force field around them.

Can't San be an advisor to the CP and be married to be someone else. I just feel like Won is attracted to San because she doesn't defer to him but speaks her mind and calls a half-baked idea, a half-baked idea.

I am so done with women falling in kdramas for no good reason. In this case i'll let it slide. But seriously, theres gotta be another way to accomplish intimacy. Hey, how about naturally through time spent together and conversation.

And Princess Wonsung. ? but please please stay "bad", morally grey, questionable. Like Cersi lannister (but without the cruelty and incest. )

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About the falling. This is the one time when it is logical. This girl, from the age of 12, has been living in men's clothes, so it is natural she is unused to long gowns.

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Agghhh! I've been so busy I have yet to see this episode, so just read the recap here! Everyone STILL is not telling each other what is going on! They're all on the same side, are they not? Even Princess Wonsung is warming up to the idea of San and Won AND Rin. Can't we all just get along? I'll watch the episodes tonight and catch you all later when I have more thoughtful things to say.

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Rin is still my favorite character from episode 1 to now. I just love that he is set against people marrying for the wrong reasons. Like how he's been vocal with San not to marry Jeon and for telling his sister not to marry the prince. What will Rin do now that it's confirm that won will keep San even if she doesn't want that?

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More and more the love triangle between Won, San and Rin reminds me of the Arthurian tale of King Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot. I can't help comparing RIn to Lancelot, they are both handsome, noble and kind. Makes me wonder if this drama will end the same way that tale did: with Won watching Rin and San rise off into the sunset.

Poor Won! It's become obvious to everyone that although San is fond of him and grateful to him, she doesn't love him and is in love with Rin. I hope his jealousy doesn't spoil their friendship. Watching Won struggle with his emotions breaks my heart since we all know he means well. I have said this many times since the drama started that this is one of the best written dramas I've watched.

It makes us root for the conquerors instead of the oppressed underdogs; and gives the lead actor all the anguish, heartache, pain and struggle that the second male lead actor usually experiences when they realize that their love interest doesn't return their feelings.

It's a huge pity that this drama is not more popular because the plot is superb.

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*ride* off into the sunset

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I like your comparison to King Arthur. And I totally agree with pretty much everything you said, but I'm wondering if our pity for Won will turn - depending on which road Won takes.

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I do agree that the drama is very well-written. Props to Song Ji Na. She has another classic under her belt. This is a pretty good adaptation. The direction is very good as well and so are the the camera shots.

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Be happy please ... Won , Rin , San and Dan ... Song In please Dead :)

Dude !! Why not San have twins .. So Won will get San , Rin will get San :-)

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Ahhh ... So sweet Rin alwalys take care her little sister Dan !! Not like Wang Jeon ;-/

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I'm so loving this drama! I wasn't expecting much at all, really. Yet, I have been pleasantly surprised. With queens teaching masters about the power of love ... “If a man can’t even cherish one woman and is given a country, how can he properly cherish that country?”, a brotherhood of sorts, and the agony of unrequited love ... I'm sold! ?

Ah, @murasakimi, thank you for your wonderful recap! You made me crack with your comment in regards to the king ... "Get out of your pajamas, sir, and get some work done please." ... And I so feel the same way, but since I'm getting the character depth from others, I guess I don't care much about his childish, flat personality. ?

And, by the way, I certainly have my Rin T-shirt on ... ?

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After seeing these episodes, I am also more than a little creeped out about Won wanting to keep San in a birdcage, but only because there's a real life example of this. When Nicole Kidman finally left whakadoodle Tom Cruise (no offense to Tom fans) she said that living with him was like being a caged bird. Ooooo, shivers go down my spine. And how many more women in the world feel this way living under the roofs of controlling men? There was also that cult (no offense to Scientologists) he is still a part of as well. She had to finally get out and save herself from the madness. But so that I don't get too far down that rabbit hole and into another drama recap (#rescueme) I'll circle back to this one. Anyway, Won better start appreciating her for more than just someone that he has to collect and lust after, because my Rin-San ship just became a submarine diving into the depths for all the red flags that are screaming at me about Won's behavior. Maybe the original language is more poetic than what is translated though.

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I know the plot was slow in this one, but I loved watching this episode, particularly ep 22. I missed their friendship we had in the first few episodes and this episode reminded me of that. That scene where Won and San bickered, and Rin had to stop them. That put a smile on my face, remembering why I liked WonSanRin in the first place.

Also, I like that San plays a part too in saving herself from being tribute. If it was just Rin and Won doing things, she would have been the weak damsel in distress. Rin saved Minister Eun, San got the list of tributes, and Won managed to get the envoy to burn the list. Perfect teamwork !

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btw, Is it just me or Rin keeps getting more handsome with every episode? *insert heart eyes*

Love your smile Rin, San, Won. hope to see those smiles more, but we know the angst is coming :'(

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Since their plan worked, San will not be a tribute anymore. But I got confused with Rin's situation as a hostage -- is it solved already? I mean Won chose Dan as his Crown Princess to save her, and San asked this as a favor so Rin will not need to sacrifice himself. But theres still no "wedding in the family" so Rin is not yet excused as a tribute right?

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it's not, I think it got delayed bc of the wedding news.

Also I think princess wonsung is powerful enough to do that as hinted by teacher Lee. He ask why the queen is asking for a long road when she can took San name herself, that's her authorities as she can add people as she wish from the 1st place.

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I assumed that his name was on that list they burned. The envoy did say that he would not be taking any tributes this time around.

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He won't be sent as a tribute if Dan marries Won, because that's the rule. But if Won changes his mind and doesn't want to marry Dan, then it might be bad news for Rin, Dan, the father and the brother. After all, as far as Won is concerned, what's Rin's brother did is treasonous. Spoiler maybe:

I heard someone say Rin loses everything. But this was before it even aired, so it might not be right.

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What really happened in the novel? I heard the novel is too long for a drama. Did Rin and San end up together? What happened to Won? :'(

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Thanks a lot ......I was looking for it.

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Please, I don't want any spoilers from the novel.

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Me neither! ?

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and ginseng CF in goryeo is my fav part, eun san is so funny LOL XD

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It's really becoming clear what Rin's father had told him: Treat the crown prince like a friend, but don't expect to be his friend. When everything is happy and normal, they are really close friends who laugh and joke with each other. When there are problems, they do depend on each other for help. But honestly, that subject and master relationship is always there throughout. It never goes away. As much as Won wants Rin to treat him as a friend, he himself sees Rin as his subject, not just as his friend. So whereas Rin is always willing to defer to Won and put him first in everything, Won may not be willing to do the same because he is the crown Prince, he does not think that he should have to defer to anyone.

In a sense, that's a logical way to think as a crown prince, but that is definitely not how one should think as a friend. Rin automatically puts Won first as well, probably because of who Won is as his ruler. I'm not saying they're not friends, I'm doubting the depth of real friendship they could go to being who they both are.

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Yeah, Rin's father is right [still, how can be believed Jeon if he realised this early on]
I interpreted the message as
"don't want what he wants and don't go against him"

you can get friendly and talk naturally but you don't go into what Won wants so you'll not cross his path or his desire and do not say no to him as much as you can.

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definitely finding it easier and easier to be on the RinSan ship, when i was neutral before. unless something major happens i can't really see the romance going in favor of Won but we'll have to see! I did miss Won and San's cute bickering though heh the trio is just so precious.

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It seems pretty obvious, but there is still this hint of uncertainty. San is not saying anything, we can only observe her to try and make something out of her expressions and behaviour. This ambiguity is killing me, but it's so good at the same time.

How awesome is that they all teamed up? Our trio, Princess Wonsung, Teacher Lee, all together to outsmart the enemy. I loved it.

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These two episodes were probably my favourites so far for many reasons but chiefly for the wonderful swoony feeling of perfect pace and superb acting from everyone. Siwan is a master at showing mixed/conflicting emotions, in his face, his eyes his whole body language. Im Yoona's improving all the time and showing subtlety. The scenes between Rin and Dan were so touching.Wang Won and Princess Wonsung are finally at one (with them acting so who can stop them?) and it feels good. I'm sure this is the calm before the storm but it's clear to all now who's on whom's side. I'm glad this isn't following the book trajectory too closely. The scene where San distracts the envoy while the tribute roll is taken was priceless, genuine humour but with a plot point.

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I relly loved the OST in Scarlet Heart but this one is also incredilbly good. Sisters - "She explains to her brother that she knew all along, but told herself it was fine because San was supposedly of lowly birth." she was going to ask Rin to seduce San away from Won, or she’d drive San away somehow. ... She is forseeing a sea change between Rin and Won, as Won is also in love with San. She explains to her brother that she knew all along, but told herself it was fine because San was supposedly of lowly birth. San is not of low birth and Won will not give her up, even for Rin, so there can only be trouble ahead!

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I see the dilemma of the love triangle as being much worse because Rin and San and also Dan have each been too ready to subordinate their personal feelings/desires in the belief they are protecting Won. Regardless of wether or not you approve of his motives ( and some have pointed out that the eara has different rules, fairness, strict hierarchy, tributes ) Won is consitantly saying he connat give up San, he will make a cage if he has to and he will make it as big as possible for her. My worry is exactly Dan will do something awful and out of character which will hurt all four of them; Rin, San, Won and Dan.

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Exactly!! We have the same worries..Dan is begin to realize that in fact she can't stand it for Won to have San as his first and only love..It is not that she doesn't know that as future King, Won will have many concubines but what she want is Won's true love from the heart..Yes she is begin to get greedy but can't blame her too since she is so in love with Won and maybe expecting her devote to Won will somehow got responded back as time goes by but her hope shattered when San appeared..Well it is also not San's fault as we can't control people's heart, it is Won who is chasing San not the other way around..Morever San is really nice despite her tomboyish and strong headed character..Everything she had done always putting others first before her although i know some people always saying she got reckless sometime..When she told Won to choose Dan, some of you may think that it was solely for Rin or for protecting WonRin friendship by not having Rin leave for Yuan but to me she also did think for Dan..I really hope Dan would not do bad things to San as San is really thoughful to Dan..When you guys watch the next 2 episode you will know why I'm saying this as I don't want to spoil you all..I hope people won't just see Dan as the only one pure & nice girl and overlook San..I sincerely hope people will try to look carefully about who, what and how San's character really is behind her strong appearance and try to feel her burden and worries instead of neglect her..I feel so sorry for San when most people only care for WonRin, RinDan, WonKing and some even blame her for breaking WonRin friendship escpecially those who support bromance of WonRin..Don't forget not only WonRinDan, San also suffered a lot from losing her mother, being sent away and live as other and growing up for 7 years in that kind of environment..She is supposed to be like other Agasshi, wearing pretty clothes and eating and living well but she has to suffer so much because of the tragedy caused by Song In..In fact she and Won suffered the most..I hope San will get more support from people in the future..

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I love your comment. It is true San has been a victim, but is leading her life with dignity, compassion and courage. She always puts others first, including Lady Dan, several times. To be honest, I think in this instance, Dan is the one being selfish. She knew she was in love with Won, but quite readily gave him her word that she didn't mind that she will not be first in his heart. She has already committed herself to a loveless marriage even against the advice of her dear brother. If she later changes her mind, she has only herself to blame.

People say Dan has the right to expect more from Won.... what I can say is that Won was honest with Dan, while she deceived him. She could tell him, I have feelings for you, I know you are marrying me so I can be protected from being a tribute woman, but I love you all the same. So San isn't to blame for Dan's predicament. Won will love whom his heart tells him to love. What a tale of tangled hearts!

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Hi you point it out well..The fact that Won was honest to Dan but Dan was not honest with her feeling..I'm glad that there are analysis about this part on this instead of blaming Won for not deserving Dan's love as if everything is Won's fault..About that bodyguard who has a crush on Dan, i have a feeling that he might get used by Dan for her purpose which i read someone comment before that in the novel, Dan and bodyguard working together..Dan's originally is a really nice and sweet girl so i hope she won't become antagonist in the end..Please be nice till the end and I hope she find true love who will love her back..

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Being really nice and being selfless is just as controlling and affecting. She could easilly turn round and say she has no romatic feelings for Won, just friendship. In fact that's the sort of stunt Kdramas pull all the time and I'm rather glad this one is different. Loosing a parent early (I did) is damaging. She feels responsible for her mother's death as she insisted on dividing the guard to go see her raspberries. Blaming onself for the death of a loved one is also par for the course. But (apart from Won, who cares for her) Dan has only Rin who really loves her. She is about to do something in her anguish that will severly alter things.

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Glad to see comment that mentioned about San's wound that she has been carrying along in her heart since she lost her mother..Also I think that Wang chancellor and Wang Jeon do care with Dan as they were very worried when they knew Dan will be sent as tribute to Yuan and her father even tried to arrange Jeon's marriage as soon as possible, even though Jeon has other motive but I remember he was like crazy hitting on Rin blaming him for ruined the plan for saving Dan from going to Yuan..All of them care for her, it just that Rin is the closest to Dan and caring so it seems that only Rin who cares but actually all them care for her well being..

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Dan has more than just Rin, her father and Jeon both love and try to protect her.

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From the beginning, I think San and Rin are not ready for "romantic relationship", they sense the attraction but they just put it on "later since we have another important matter" while Dan and Won already feel that they are "ready to pursue the romantic feeling" right away.

I think that's why the romance get tangled up, 2 of them don't think they need to give a decision cause they aren't sure and the other two is already expecting. As for now, Won gives an answer to Dan. So they really need to stress to Rin and San that Won need an answer.

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I think Rin is sure he likes San but he doesn't want to defy Won.

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I love the glimpse back into the bickering dynamic between the three! It definitely is the calm before the storm, though, I wish that the dynamic stay longer. However, these episodes seem to be one last throwback to the peaceful, uncomplicated past, before turning diving headfirst into the future.

Won is fully aware of how Rin and San feel about each other but still willfully remains ignorant about it. On one hand, I am frustrated, but on the other hand, I understand and pity him. Won definitely isn't a simple person, and I love that you can see his conflicting feelings play across his face.

I love that this drama subverts the romance triangle trope so effectively. In any other drama, Rin and San would be the main leads, and Won the annoying second lead, but here, Won is very much the main character and we are given a glimpse into his motivations and feelings--something we don't usually get to see.

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Oh man I was hoping it will go down between the father and son but alas this is not the episode for it. Oh well. Next episode perhaps.

Yey for the team-up of everyone!! Please do something like that again and get rid of the woman beside the king. She is getting on my nerves. Lol

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I'm not going to spoil but we will see Won come out and confess himself in utter clarity, his future (as he sees it) is entirely in San's heart or not. Then there is the question of the rings significance.

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Hard not to spoil when we've seen the next two episodes and especially the preview. There are several directions this drama could take and I haven't and won't read the synopsis of the novel because we don't know whether or not they'll follow it.

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There are significant differences between the novel and drama, not just Won's supposed bisexuality, right from the first chapter. San's father for example was actively supporting the revolutionaries and San was to marry Jeon. She meanwhile is a supporter of Won and actually threatens to Kill Lin/Rin (he is her archer teacher) if if he plans to betray Won with his brother Jeon. And so on ... some of these kill the idea she is indifferant to the CP except as a friend in gratitued.

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If this weren't a kdrama, I would have been very suspect about Won/Rin's relationship, and not just bromance.

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Thank you for the recaps and comments! Spot on and I totally agree. I am waving my Rin flag <3 Both sets of episodes this week felt a lot like set up episodes (this one was almost filler, but ended the tribute issue) - look like next week should be exciting!

I love that San was able to help with the Yuan envoy scheme and lay the tribute issue to rest. Won is becoming more and more interesting, I feel a little like Darth Vader watching this show - "Come to the dark side". There have been hints of it along the way, and although he already breaks my heart with his love towards San, I kind of welcome the new angst. I know there have been a ton of shipper wars going on for this show on other sites, but I have to say that San hasn't shown any romantic interest in Won. But why is that a bad thing? She clearly loves him as a friend, as does Rin. I actually like that the show isn't 100% about romance and is more about the tangled friendships between the trio. That being said, I still want Rin and San to get together and not waste that smoldering chemistry!

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I think it may have to smolder for another several episodes...
Love your Darth Vader comparison! My only disagreement with what you said is Won's love towards San. It's obsessiveness and his crown prince/king's feelings of everything belonging to him. I worry for Rin and Dan.

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You're absolutely right, I think Won's love is an obsession. I think I just find him pitiful overall. I'm worried too about the repercussions of his obsessive need to keep San, and the effects on Rin and Dan. I hope they don't make Dan turn against San, that would seem out of character.

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I totally enjoyed San's entrance with both Won and Rin quite holding their breaths while looking at her. Rin-San shipper here so I jumped and squeled when they looked at each other. That sequence was nicely done. I also found it cute how San ended up accidentally falling on Rin while trying to run after him. Searched for behind-the-scenes too as they looked so lovely together. I fell in love with HJH more as he seems to really be a gentleman in real life.

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I think I have my thoughts organized now (and I know how ironic that sounds). My first small criticism was that the cliff-hanger of the last episode really didn't resolve itself as satisfactorily as it could have and many comments here also reflect the same opinion. I watched the first scene, and was like, "Did we skip a scene?" *rewind, watched the end of the last episode again, watched the first scene again and repeat!* Nope, we didn't. I was hoping for a full fledged argument / sword fight, some type of choreographed fight scene, resulting in San getting put in jail anyway--I think the actors would have done an amazing job. I'll just imagine this happened.

However, the quiet moments in this drama is done exceptionally well. The scene between San and Won in the jail cell stood out to me, how Won desperately wants to go back in time when they were happy together, not putting on airs, or having to be formal, just being themselves. And San knowing that this can never happen. The air was just pregnant with the angst there. And the scene with Dan and Rin... I just kept thinking that they must have done something to HJH's voice--it's a radio voice--smooth like butter, a baritone timbre that is so satisfying, like a sheepskin blanket being wrapped around you. It's a calming force--I just LOVE his voice! And I'm liking Princess Wonsung's trajectory as well and her quiet conversation with Master Lee. The line about being able to take care of the woman you love before being able to care for a whole country rang very true to me personally. What a beautiful line.

Some other lines that struck me for more humorous reasons, when they were meant to be serious:

San telling Rin to get medicine for her father's angina. "Our household physician should be familiar with it." What I heard, "We're so rich that we have our own on-call doctor, like Michael Jackson, or Prince."

And the bickering between San and Won with Rin playing peacemaker--can we just have this happen the rest of the drama? I can't get enough of it!

Song In talking to snake man after his room was ransacked (paraphrased): "Fine, I'm done following the law...etc." Me: "So fraud, murder, and blackmail are what lawful citizens do in Goryeo? Umm, last time I checked, those things were still illegal. Sorry, not feeling sorry for you."

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That was strange how the formatting changed my comment...The last 2 paragraphs should be reversed.

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Yes, Rin's voice, his whole being so sweet and nice, yet a warrior. I don't know where this drama is going - will Won's true obsessive and violent nature cause Rin to go against him and that's why in the voiceover at the masked event Won says his best friend betrayed him? Will Rin really betray Won or is it that Won is the one who betrays. In Rin's voiceover (2nd ep?) his dad tells him he should never try to be friends with the CP. Or will Rin's character stay upright. So many ways to go.

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I forgot one other scene that was really funny--when Won is faking an illness in front of the Yuan envoy. He REALLY looks sick! I was impressed. But surprised there was no flashback of the King saying (again, paraphrased), "If the crown prince got a cold, the Emperor would be down my neck seeing why I was making his precious grandson ill." HaHaHa. I totally think that is Won's plan on getting Kublai Khan's power behind him. The envoy would have no choice but to report it to him. Very sneaky, Won, very sneaky!

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Re reading your review it just dawned on me that it isn't just Won's obsession with San because of Rin, or just because he wants her, but a big part of it is how he feels about his mother's love for the king and having her heart slowly broken by the king's behavior. He wants to keep San all to himself in a cage so she can't be with anyone else. He doesn't want his heart to shrivel like his mother's did. But his reasoning is so wrong and he doesn't have a clue what true love is.

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But you are also pushing logic and reason too far. Like most who ship Rin San and may know a smattering of the book (where pretty much everything is reversed and there are contradictions) love doesn't play by those rules, and that particularly goes for love at first sight. That is Won's afliction. About the only thing one can say of it is Shakespeare's 'it is an evr fixed mark which looks on tempests and is unshaken, a guide to every wandering bark whose worths unknown although his hight be taken'.

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I don't know a smattering of the book and I don't want to know. I'm assuming Won will learn in the end what true love is.

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Sorry, I don't seem to be able to edit a comment. So while it's true I ship Rin/San, I think Won's character arc is far more interesting. And he is the lead. And while I ship Rin/San, I'm mostly shipping just Rin by himself because I like Hong Jong hyun so much. And yes, I'm watching everything I can find that he's in. And, ignorant as I am about Shakespeare, I have no clue as to your point.

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And this too: hopefully Won will have a redemption arc. For all we know, he and San could end up in exile together and Rin become King. Although I don't think Rin would make a good king - he isn't ruthless enough. He was brought up to be compliant.

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That's fine ooh your getting obsesive then ... it's a complicated solioqy about true love being constant, I rather messed it up as its 40 something years since I studied Romeo & Juliet. Just one point about his choosing Dan that I think noone has mentioned, as a political strategem its a clever move to make his arch opponents family his own.

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To your strategem: Yeah, I thought about that too, that Won is more calculating than we have suspected. Except, he's too emotional about San for it to completely be a manipulation. But I could be wrong...and yes, my first post I acknowledged I'm way too obsessed with this drama, even more than usual. I've been having withdrawal symptoms. Real life just isn't as much fun.

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I dont like love secince with rin and san
I think it will have sad end

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No matter who San ends with, it will be sad to the shippers. So best is if they remain status quo or San can marry another person.

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I love the San comical scene with the Yuan envoy especially the last part where her facial expression changed so quicland she walked away in a tomboy way lol. It made my day.

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I suddenly remember the scene where Won visit San in the prison and the first thing he noticed is San's clothes..After he confirmed it was Rin's, he seems displeased, also when San appeared in front of The Queen and her teacher meeting with WonRin, the way Rin stealing glances towards San and when San tripped in front of Rin, then when he deliberately ask San to wear his robe in front of Rin and stop Rin from escorting San back to prison..This is when he start to burned with over jealousy toward Rin and warning him for the second or third time and the way Rin turned around to face Won when being asked to stay from escorting San, Rin's facial expression showed that he is angry too as he knows what Won's real intention was..and it continued to the intense conversation between WonRin about keeping San at Won's side..I guess this is the start of WonRin's conflict..Remember Rin's character description, that people will make use of his conflict with Won for their benefits..I'm so worry for RinDan, this siblings are going to be make of use by those bad people like Song In..

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Guys please tell me what's that actors name who plays Moo suk.

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